I'm finally done with my exciting week pitching series in LA. I was thrilled to see how open people are to a writer with Canadian credits pitching a Canadian series; they're ready to see a show set in Montreal. ("The audience is, do we like this person? Whether the police have square hats or not, who cares.")
When you get into the room, you instantly realize that some of your pitches are lame. They're the ones you wrote to be like what's on TV. The execs don't want that; they've already got'em. From you, they want the project that you're mad about, the project that takes 10 minutes to pitch instead of only 5 minutes. They want passion. They want something they haven't heard before. "What do you want to spend the next seven years writing?" the very gracious exec at Fox asked me.
That doesn't mean they want a big serial show with lots of mythology, necessarily. Episodic is always easier, so long as you can twist it in a way that makes it fresh.
You have to hear the mandates, of course. The CW no longer wants serials about high school students. They want procedurals about 20somethings. At least, right now they do. TNT wants shows for people from the heartland, ideally character-based procedurals. TeenNick wants your upbeat, big-idea show about a sixteen-year-old girl.
Now we'll see how the enthusiasm I felt in the room turns into followup. Of course, I won't be stressing about it. I will immediately put it out of my mind as I turn to the next thing I need to write. It is the only way to stay sane...
Labels: this little piggy went to market